Balance-Unbalance 2015

Many inspiring things happened at the Balance-Unbalance 2015.

Here is a short video of responses from some of our keynote speakers to the critical discussions that occurred at Balance-Unbalance 2015 at Arizona State University

Balance/Unbalance 2015 from ASU Herberger Institute on Vimeo.

The Balance-Unbalance 2015 International conference theme, ‘Water, Climate, Place: Re-Imagining Environments’ is aimed to provoke discussion and reflection on how the climate is changing and what our future might hold.  It does so by directing trans-disciplinary thought and action as tools for positive change.

The intersections between nature, art, science, new technologies, aid agencies and society are formed with the goal of developing cross-disciplinary initiatives using innovative art and technology to advance ecological awareness and sustainability practices to inspire wide-ranging community engagement in the face of unprecedented environmental challenges.

Led by the arts and humanities, Balance-Unbalance 2015 international conferencetook place March 27-29, 2015 at the ASU Tempe Campus. It brought multiple disciplines together with submissions from 24 countries and a keynote lineup of high profile presenters from business, art, music and acoustic ecology, the Red Cross, water research and community engagement with rain forest initiatives in South America.

Previous conferences have produced collaborations with the Red Cross as a competition for musical works in support of their global campaigns on Climate Change.  A second iteration of this competition has just taken place ( ).  The 2013 conference witnessed the forming of a project to address the complexity of moving entire communities in the Pacific Island country of Vanuatu who are affected by rising sea levels. A short documentary film on the progress of this project will be shared with this years conference.

Public Events

Spectacular public events included turning the Tempe Town lake into an enormous concert hall with 100 musicians in boats performing the work Maritime Rites by the renowned American Composer and conference Keynote speaker, Alvin Curran ( ), who will be present to conduct the work. The performance occurred at 3:30PM on Friday March 27 with the public able to view the performance from Tempe Beach Park.

At 8Am on the morning of Friday March 27 on the ASU Tempe Campus, Pablo Suarez ( ), the Associate Director for Research and Innovation at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, led the launching of  The Way Forward (, a massive hot air balloon constructed from recycled shopping bags and inflated by the heat of the sun. The public were invited to also be involved in a workshop to construct the balloon (

An opening night PechaKucha event from 6-7PM in Katzin Concert hall saw musical performances and leading speakers including a member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality project and the founder of the Balance-Unbalance conference Ricardo Dal Farra speak in the unique 20×20 snappy PechaKucha format.

The conference also featured numerous art installations in the School of Art galleries, the Night Gallery in Tempe Market Place, the Digital Culture Gallery and the Grant Street Studios galleries. There are free lunch time music concerts and evening concerts including students of the School of Music presenting an evening concert of original string quartet compositions responding to the desert, titled Arid Landscapes in Katzin Concert Hall at 9PM on Friday March 27.

In addition there are 2 days of  workshops in the days leading up to the conference (March 25-26) – including high level workshops on:

Designing Resilient Communities with Gary Lawrence 

A 2 days workshop on Field Recording and Acoustic Ecology with e American Society for Acoustic Ecology including an overnight field trip to Beaver Creek Biosphere Reserve

Workshops on Trash, Activism, Energy and Water conservation and other issues relating to environmental management are all listed here

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